Yes, I know.  It’s not even December yet.  There’s still Halloween candy and turkey shaped butter in the grocery stores.  Meanwhile in my house, we are playing Christmas music.  Yes, Christmas music.  I am so excited to announce Elizabeth Mitchell and Friends: The Sounding Joy from Smithsonian Folkways.  The Sounding Joy is a 70-minute compilation of Christmas songs “in and out of the Ruth Crawford Seeger Songbook”.

The Sounding Joy CD

“The Sounding Joy is a spirited collection of folk carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger’s 1953 songbook American Folk Songs for Christmas.”

For The Sounding Joy, Elizabeth Mitchell has brought together her family, friends, neighbors, and special guest Peggy Seeger.  The songs on this album are not your “normal” Christmas Songs.  There is no Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls or Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.  There is no wall-shaking beat like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  The Sounding Joy is what has been missing in Christmas.  It “celebrates the spirit of community and homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas” with some call-and-response singing and catchy tunes, but with no overwhelming bass or drums.

The Sounding Joy

I am so excited to add this album to our Christmas music list and can’t wait to have it playing as we are putting up our trees and decorating the house for the holidays.  With songs like Oh, Mary and the Baby, Sweet Lamb, Joy to the World, Christmas Day in the Morning, and The First Noel, while being surrounded by family and friends, there is no reason this album would not get that Christmas Spirit flowing!

I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest things I LOVE about the actual CD is the booklet.  The one included with The Sounding Joy gives us a list of the songs, an introduction by Natalie Merchant, some background on this album from Elizabeth Mitchell, some beautiful photographs, and much more!  You can learn so much about the album and the artist(s) by reading the booklet.  The one included with this cd explains a bit about Ruth Crawford Seeger’s songbook and influence on this album, as well as Elizabeth’s background and some details on the making of the album.

I will leave you with an excerpt from the booklet, written by Elizabeth herself:

“… Each year new people have come into our lives, and some of their hands and voices have found their way into this music.  Our widely drawn family circle has grown, and we remain grateful for the collaborations and friendships that have emerged through the process of making this album.  Now it is time to share this record with you.  However you and your loved ones celebrate the last month of the year, I hope it is filled with the sounds of joy.”

 You can sample the music on this album by visiting The Sounding Joy on Amazon.

I have saved the best part of this review for last….Smithsonian Folkways is offering a FREE download of the song Children, Go Where I Send Thee.  Just go to Smithsonian Folkways and select the link for the version you need and enjoy!  While you’re there, you can purchase a copy of The Sounding Joy (either CD or digital version) OR enter below for one lucky reader to WIN their very own CD and fill your hearts and homes with The Sounding Joy.

Giveaway Open to US Residents, 18+. Giveaway Ends 11/19/2013

Congratulations to our winner: Danielle S.!!

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